Memory is a Word

These are my memories not just in words, but of them. Maybe all are strictly transmitted as such. Best I can recollect beyond the syntactic is notions of memories I should have, episodes repeated enough to form an eventual series, their details as vague as the notion that I should know them. What comes to the fore are phrases coined, caught for repetition, often enough a companion in a loop interrupting my thinking until… still.

One definition of insanity is picking these phrases from the loop and placing their impatient non-sequitur into every gap in the conversation, only ever offering an inside joke that nobody is in on.

Moreover on another hand on the left-right spectrum, there’s that title song, sung off the page into the Sensual World, always in words. Channeled prominently from the sensations of Molly Bloom, if felt by any reader of Joyce, from words.

Semantic memory repeats in sequence and so do the words. I could show you, and you might remember, but what I say is what we’ll laugh about later.

And maybe more yet than I’ve realized, it is sense that I try to make with these words. And lest I admonish that that word doesn’t mean quite what its face tells us, for every thought is a more perfect word that’s bound with the searched sense.

At least that’s what I always catch myself striving for.

To spread these thoughts out into clarity, some one-word strikes the perfect pose without making one into a poser, I would hope — for the sense of the word.

The only time I’m at one with myself & the world is by the responsive arrangement of verbal expression, constant creation of my own metaphor, clearing the clutter of thought to be sure there is something to be said of these symptoms. And momentarily to allay them.

Unlike with meditation, I can shirk the discipline of practice and wait for the soothing arrival of inspiration. Probably I’m afraid routine will bring nothing but frustration. More probably I’m afraid of something else. Most probably I’m just lazy.

Maybe lazy is the wrong word.

It feels more like apprehension.

How do I know when a sentence is one too many? Revision is murder.

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Sitting w/ a friend & my empty open suitcase
Of course there’s a balance I fear and ignore when I can. As much as I’d like to believe my ideal is of solitude, there’s the fuel of human contact at work and at play. Yes, that’s a pun. Always a pun.

I’m terrified of the sum of time I’ve spent at nothing. Like the coins as a kid I dropped into the fountain that is Pac-Man at Del Farm, except the world has closed in since the age of thirteen. I have no reason to believe I’d find anything more sensible now to spend those quarters on.

But I can’t help it, I’m uneasy around them, in the company of a visit. One’d like to think that we’re all the same, in our core or what-have-you. But the suspicion is sneaking that my attitude about life, this existence is so different from those all around me who embrace it so sensibly. I know it’s my ethical duty to assist them with given glimpses of purpose, but I can’t find it in those times when I sit in discomfort.

And, let’s be honest, the last lone desire at such a visit is to attend the unpacking of all one’s shit upon arrival. Baggage can’t be taken for friendship, even & especially when it’s discovered how empty it is.

It’s not the loneliness that hurts, but the guilt that I don’t feel it. It’s not the embarrassment that I don’t have it, but the shame that I don’t want it.

Slippery Whenever – Frankfurter Allee/Möllendorffstraße, Berlin-Lichtenberg – 2015

Manufacturing Plausible Consent: peer pressure via implication

Now, the advertising advocates – they’ll tell you that proven ad strategies are being employed to influence every aspect of our lives; and the stats geeks will interpret the results and tell you who you are; and although most won’t believe this definition about themselves, they’ll believe the definition about everyone else.

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The origin of plausible denial lies in murky waters. The term itself is clear, its floating chunks visible along the Potomac every time some beltway branch broadsheet regurgitates, “What did the president know and when did he know it?” but the origin of the concept is too deep to be surfaced.

The substance, its meaning, could have been formed in response to, “I don’t wanna know,” or as a more direct result of, “It’d be better if he didn’t.”

Ronald Reagan’s replying “I don’t recall…” dozens of times before a grand jury in February of 1990 could have been his way of taking the 5th while drinking it, an attempt by the ex-President to leverage his plausible deniability in defense of his legacy from the implication that he had been out of the loop entirely on a whole range of issues, not just Iran-Contra.

In an Oval Office teevee speech to his nation in ’87, he had taken “full responsibility” for “activities undertaken without [his] knowledge”, a textbook example of where the meanings of responsibility and accountability diverge. Legal liability? Forget about it! At any rate, it had become a workable enough presumption by the time of his testimony that he hadn’t known much (more on this later).

For the most plausible of denial, it’s best to conceal from plausible deniers the very existence of that specific something they don’t know about. For contrast, think Dubya, just after Chief Card tells him the second tower had been hit. As classic a known-unknown look if there ever was one peered out of that skull, which — while easily attributable to his having watched the first hit already, or so would be attested — has been jet fuel to the fire of alternative theories as to what led to the events of that day since that day.

Either way, if your goal is to shield your senior from spilling actual beans, you don’t want that kind of look to spoil an otherwise comfortably duplicitous press conference, which is why sending ignorance to the podium has become routine — which ignorance, interestingly, appears just as plausible coming from an ignoramus as it does when the communicator exudes clued-in intelligence: it is conceivable that either one of them has blatantly bought their bullshit.

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The Emperor’s New Clothing Factory Fire Sale
The manufacture of consent, insofar as it indicates the post-production of public opinion through selective censorship & propaganda, has resulted in the perpetuation of plausible consent, a cultural aspect not defined by whether or not the prospective consumer of media believe what’s put forth, but by the expectation that others believe it. As such, it maintains the appearance of consent. In other words, consent is not necessary, only the plausibility of it.

Conceived dichotomies too oft proceed from the same unexamined assumptions. From an electoral standpoint, the US American two-party system is a good example. Up close, there are devoted voters of both parties who believe in the genuine oppositional nature of the chamber. They show up for every election, some of them really believing they are casting for something, not merely against something else, a difference meaningless to the larger picture, based as it is on the assumption that it makes a difference which party can pull more strings or, as the case may be, can have their strings pulled.

With that in mind, we see these motivated voters in opposition to the non-voters who believe the two parties are fundamentally identical, having their strings pulled by the same exclusive interests. For the sake of this argument, we can include the likes of third-party support and write-in ballotry in opposition to traditional party loyalty.

It follows, however, that this clear & direct disagreement as to whether or not voting makes a difference is in turn rooted in the assumption that somebody wants your vote, ignoring entirely the possibility that it might often be the case that somebody simply wants you to believe that somebody wants your vote.

Everything that happens in electoral politics supports that assumption, including electoral fraud. Especially electoral fraud. The impression that a Bush stole the 2000 presidential election supports the notion that the office is worth something more than just as an elite status symbol, or that there’d be no Patriot Act had Florida gone to Gore.

This is not strictly an American thing. Here in Europe, regulatory capture is enough a reality that there are three, four, sometimes five parties that have all proven on occasion to be corruptible when given a chance to govern, confirming the adage that power corrupts, even if the power is only plausible: There is always real power behind its plausible front.

The second part of that adage, which states that “absolute power corrupts absolutely”, belies the fact that power doesn’t have to appear absolute to be absolutely corrupt. That is, the second part of the adage is a red-herring that might serve to keep flocks flocking to absolute corruption, in fear of the forever more brazen bogeyman: Totalitarianism.

But the main point to make about parliamentary politics & multiple parties is that the tug of war spectacle between rulers & opposition remains. Citizens believe in that balance. Apparently.

Every block of text written on the subject of electoral politics, including its corruption, implicitly piles on anyone who’d take the entire thing for farce. Herein qualify as well an untold mass of alternative media, labeled by themselves & others everything from leftist to libertarian, their every contribution furthering plausible consent. If somebody writes it or says it, it is plausible that loads of readers or listeners or viewers believe it — are likely passively driven by all its inferences.

In a landscape wherein it’s claimed consent has been given, it is plausible that others believe the state of affairs to be consensual, even when they don’t consent to the affairs of state.

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Plausibly paired in opposition
Opposing ideologies flowing from the selfsame swamp will inevitably lead to the conclusion at the mouth of the same river.

The Wikileaks phenomenon seemed to many on the surface to be the stone to shatter the complacency of a society long past its credulity date. Still, and especially for those having their watershed moment, the leaks have served to foster the liminal assumption that, if something is being done to us in secret, we will find out about it eventually. It insinuates that we have reached an age whereupon the truth can be known.

Conversely to others, the initial breach amounts to a danger to their peaceful existence, married as they are to the concept of law & order and national security.

For all of this conflicting sentiment, both believe nothing other than marginally different editions of the same basic history.

Take the Snowden affair to the Snowden fan: Here lies the notion that our former spies are our current heroes; that one can say that Julian Assange, Chelsea Manning, and Edward Snowden couldn’t possibly be anything other than on the same page, never mind the journalists that cover them; that billionaires can take up the pen of fourth or fifth estate without ulterior motive; that NGOs can be something other than instruments of the wealthy; that all the perfidy recently revealed, no matter how pernicious its roots, can be weeded out if we only choose the right leaders. Here lies the definition of leader that precludes any path without critical mass.

Conversely again to others, Snowden is a traitor and Manning a miscreant, as are Assange and the journos who give them ink. If we choose the right leaders, their kind would be hanged.

Neither of these views escape the gulf of status quo.

If a breakdown of plausible consent is evident, at present the fissures remain most strongly represented in endemic apathy. Whether this apathy is a desired side-effect or a happy accident for would-be shape-shifters of societal belief & behavior, the precise tally of a population’s political agnostics could be indicated in a cross sample of people patiently expressing impatience that no one is standing up. They are waiting for the revolution, and it remains plausible to them that it will be televised.

Still, apathy itself is not significantly stigmatized. We share our apathy with one another more freely than is likely we’ll reveal our misgivings about the veracity of a widely accepted truth. Peer pressure is for real. For sure, there is a growing professed distrust of any number of things taken for granted, but growing faster alongside is the ridicule of the same as conspiracy mongering. Such ridicule, like assumed givens, has the more sophisticated public influence, thanks still to the long-established effectiveness of plausible consent, duly manufactured.

For thinkers thinking too far outside the box for cultural comfort, on-line social media forums and comments sections on media blogs provide outlets to agitate one another; face-to-face, one is more likely to admit to only feeling general apathy, or ignorance. Professing specific incredulity toward conventional wisdom is a touchy affair best left to anonymous postings “we” can all laugh about.

Thus, the modern era of mainstream socio-political activism has an embedded protection system for the status quo. Peer pressure is for real writ large.

So whether you believe that voting makes a difference or not doesn’t change the shape of consent’s plausibility, just like the breakdown in percentage of people who believe & don’t believe Reagan knew about the swapping & laundering of weapons & drugs is immaterial. It is plausible that people think he knew and it is plausible that people think he didn’t, and whether or not he did is least relevant.

One mass of the population holding one position, who conclude that another mass subscribes to something entirely different as it pertains to the same object in question, throwing its hands up in despair at the plausible absurdity of it all, is a population born of uncertainty and frustration, arrantly incapable of conviction, devoid of real opinion, a society based primarily on hearsay and innuendo. This is the age of plausible consent, manufactured as a malleable mold of nothing real, where no one actually believes in anything, except by default.

However, oligarchy’s greatest triumph is that too much of society falsely conflates the choices given in a liberal democracy with how the governed should choose to live their lives. You have plenty of choices so long as you don’t insist on waiting for someone else to tell you what they are.

Wreck Ignition

There is no intuition, colored as it is by information, memory, and cognition. An intuitive impulse is expressed frequently enough. That is, the experience of the expression is expressed to others and recounted & related to – or misunderstood.


When the idea of intuition is corrupted by conglomerate qualities of crap, intuition is quite dead, if it ever was. I’m not sure how a human could ever hope to possess such a thing, only believe that what now is felt and/or sensed is informed intuition, which is a contradiction. There might be something to it. But intuition? Memory burns it to bits.

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A scientific theory is built upon facts. The theory is there for scientists to accept as a model going forward, or reject through contravening evidence. But the theory holds sway.

I have observed a reluctance on the part of scientists and fans of science to acknowledge the neither-proved-nor-disproved nature of scientific theory for the wiggle room it affords hordes of half-baked ideas not founded upon ground as solid as empiricism. But while they don’t cede the ground of the unknown to misuse, they submit the known to abuse.

Hot Fudge & Cherry Peaked Sundae

“I cannot not tell a lie.”
—Bubbs
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If you follow American election season, you’ll hear about the just-critical-enough differences between the two richest party organizations. You’ll also hear that they’re in all critical aspects the same. Purveyors of either perception point a finger at those of the other as being responsible, respectively, for the failures of the political party, or a lack of a real opposition.

I subscribe primarily to the latter view, though find many of the similarities trivial:  Members of both parties are quick to admit a mistake as long as it’s attributed to the department of marketing & miscommunication. Neither will admit to having misguided intentions. Both eventually say that they might better have done more, neither without a caveat.

Both have plenty a party patrician who can enumerate a cherry-picked, fudged checklist of all they done good. Neither will submit to a live cross-examination on matters that matter by somebody not of their own choosing.

Then there are trivial differences one can find when examining the remarkable overlap in party financing, which effectively writes a narrative of personality for the selective assignation of blame, especially when you look at one election cycle.

Of greater significance, however, is where the source of their funds remains the same over the long term, which, if you were to Venn diagram, would resemble a total eclipse of the sun.

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There are not many better at lecturing the masses about where we went wrong — while omitting his critical role in the same — than Dubya Jeff McClinton.

The former president doesn’t get much flack for his part in mandatory minimum drug sentencing and privatizing prisons because the legacy belongs to Reagan/Bush. Yet he gets a share of the blame for NAFTA even though he didn’t start that either, just drove it to the finish line.

Much like today, the current president and his party get cover for their war waging policies due to war having been such a prominent feature of the previous administration. As a consequence of the preemptive pass given to each new occupant of the office, few partisan voters have the will to hold their own to account for anything. Therefore, the president doesn’t have much to worry about regarding Fast Track, TPP, TTIP etc., irrespective of how much of it is his own administration’s doing.

Back to this era’s master of not not telling the truth, from his capable tongue twinned with not not telling a lie, his each utterance umbra, from the afore-linked foreword to Solutions: American Leaders Speak Out on Criminal Justice, Bubba beguiles:

In this time of increased political polarization, there is one area where we have a genuine chance at bipartisan cooperation: the over-imprisonment of people who did not commit serious crimes.

A special few are fooled by a politician who expresses one sentiment while benefiting from another,  but when the literal verbiage of one part means the precise opposite of the implication of the whole, either he poorly picked his words, or he’s doing his famous parsing routine for the grammar gorgon at the gates of the HellTM. But we know what he means, right?

To address our prison problem, we need real answers, a real strategy, real leadership — and real action. We can show how change can happen when we work together across partisan and political divides. That is the great promise of America.

If the referenced political divide does not extend beyond the Democratic and Republican parties, the “great promise” is to someone unstated in his foreword, altogether different from what the usage implies.

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ArianneOnLine is ten! Tweening has never felt so good!

To celebrate her steroid-advanced first pube, the matriarch of modern progressivism has one of her patented CONversations (emphasis mine), this time with business model partner Lloyd Blankfein.

They wax about the inspirational nature of their undertakings in a “talk” about their 10-year business plan, how they might “accelerate the recovery” that has led to “inequalities growing” and the opportunities that present themselves going forward, amongst which is their investment in education.

So investing in education is one opportunity that we’ve tried to grab onto in all the investments that we make, and that, as a country, we need to be prioritizing, because if we invest in early education or training prisoners, any investment would have an enormous return.

Goldman Sachs “grabbing onto” early education? What could go wrong? Again, the language they use hides their lies in plain sight. It really is as if the undercover cop is required by law to reveal his identity.

But that won’t stop fierce loyalists from going all in. Their party is 100 percent behind investment banking, unopposed on corporate education and monetized penitentiaries, and is leading the charge in increased military policing. But somehow there will always be the ways the other party is so much worse.  

I am some random asshole

#JeSuisPamelaGeller indicates?
a) support for her views
b) only a willingness to defend her right to spread her views
c) a brave defense of her rights to the death hashtag
d) a rejection of violence 
e) an alternate reality wherein her brains exit her head

At what point does it become disingenuous (and/or distasteful) to proclaim solidarity with someone in the name of free speech while saying you don’t necessarily endorse all they say? Apparently we have found a line, at least one whose breach would be required for the more pervasive trending-ness of the Internet. This time around, it would seem that the a’s have it.


Here I suggest that the je suis-ing witnessed not too many months ago is restricted for those with whom the hashtaggers believe they more broadly identify politically, i.e. in opposition to what many at that time claimed the hashtag signified, i.e. the concept not the content.

Now, it would be dishonest for me not to point out the clear distinction that none of the organizers/participants of the Mohammed drawing contest in Garland, Texas got killed. So I am left wondering whether Wilders and/or Geller would have trended in hashtag heaven had they taken a few in the noggin.

For this particular thought experiment, I posit an implosion of conflicted feelings so massive as to result in a Texas-sized sinkhole, sucking and ultimately rooting up France, segments of Spain, and bits of Benelux and carpet dropping their chunks from Louisiana to the Keys. Let’s call it New New Amsterdam, name Geert Wilders burgemeester pro tem, and recognize Candidate HRC advocating an immediate, robust military response of the let-me-be-clear variety.

Whether or not there is a limit to free speech, there is an apparent limit to what will win a wave of expression in support of it. It’s inversely akin to how people express absolute rejection of every little potshot of violence but vote for it to the 9th power on certain Tuesdays in November.

Attention, s’il vous plaît

Cross at Every Juncture

Who’s borne witness to the waiting woman — who, as any in thought, had been reflecting upon this or that of no immediate substance, like how to avoid a new acquaintance’s advances, stay out of his or her way, or what they might have for lunch, strategically if absently positioned on the side of the signal mast that would guard her left flank, when that truck from her one then two then three, which would spin the car that would pin her against that pole shattering her pelvis bone to bits, ran the red light she had abode — would say, whether standing fast or going ahead, always look at least both ways. The laws of the physical universe trump those of traffic.

Warschau/Grünberg – 2015

HXVI

People’ve been asking me all week — like, just now somebody stopped me on the street and was full on, “So, davidly, whaddaya think of Hills’ new logo?” — and I’m like, Jesus, people. Alright, already! I’ll tell you what I think.


I like it. I think it’s brilliant. I am aware that a plurality were scratching their heads upon its ugly unveiling. But let… me… be… ab-so-lutely clear: the point here goes to Candidate Clinton. It really shows you mean business when you say fuck everybody, I’m going with the symbol which was market tested and shown to resonate sympathy with masochists and sadists in equal measure.

Here’s my break-down of the semiotics:

1) It’s bold & decisive, knowing exactly which way it’s headed.

2) It’s angular & solid. Wherever its values may veer, stated or otherwise, they’ll be made of steel.

3) It’s time tested. You may not think so, but what do you know? When’s the last time you ran for President? That’s what I thought.  H > U

4) It’s efficient. Bringing to mind the promise of crashing through both towers in one go. This signals a willingness to do whatever it takes to get the dirtiest deed done directly and with the Saudis & Mossad and the CIA & FBI all Goldman’d & default-swapped into one super-secret trade initiative running on batteries of the corporate school-to-prison program and backed by the most expansive military industry the world may ever know. Carlyle Group eat your heart out!

5) Last, but in no way least, it’s masculine & progressive. Just look at that arrow! The power of this message lies in the counter-reminder that we finally get to get a strong woman to torch her way, all Libertas-like, unremittingly down the road that got us to this glorious state we’re in now.

Even if, at best, all we can honestly say is that it charters us slightly less– or more slowly in the wrong direction, why not? What’s the worst that could happen?